Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Markets show another downturn
Conception Bay South, NL, February 24, 2009- The markets have been showing another sell-off as the economy slowly sinks and that will show another break to consumers later this week as all fuel prices will drop on Thursday morning, that’s the prediction coming this week from the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.
What the numbers say
“All the data is in and it looks like we’re in for a break on petroleum products come this Thursday morning. Fourteen days of data show that diesel will drop by 5.0 cents per litre, gasoline to drop by 2.8 cents a litre and stove oils to drop by 3.99 cents per litre,” said George Murphy, group researcher with the group.
“The stove oil number points to what is on the way for heating oil and with that fuels jet fuel component showing a drop of up to 15 per cent in demand, I expect heating oil to take a sharper drop than the one predicted for stove oils. Heating oils should be closer to a nickel down as a result.
Outlook on diesel prices
Some clues are beginning to emerge from the markets in recent days on what could be happening with diesel prices in the long term and it should prove to be good news for a lot of users of the fuel. The last few days have shown some moves by the European Union against manufacturers of bio-diesel. Because the product is manufactured with huge subsidies by the US government, the EU is talking about placing tariffs on the product to keep it away from EU products. The EU views it as a subsidized product and that gives it an unfair advantage. If that happens, US inventories of distillate will only increase and that means dropping prices.
For more information, contact;
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices
Monday, February 23, 2009
- Stove oils now show 3.89 cents a litre down. That's the way that heating oil will go, but heating oils should show more down than that number. Jet fuel, which is part of the winter heating oil mix, is showing a strong drop in demand. I'm looking at heating oils to be closer to five cents a litre down when all is said and done.
- Diesel shows 4.9 cents a litre down, and...
- Gasoline shows 2.5 cents down.
Again, I will post here later tomorrow night with the final numbers to come for Thursday. It might be one more day to come but, there's plenty enough data to call the shot on all fuels dropping this Thursday morning.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
- Stove oils down by 3.71 cents a litre so far.
- The heating oil number is part jet fuel. With jet fuel demand slipping to 15 per cent, I expect to see the heating oil number to drop more than the 3.71 stove oil number. Look for it to exced well above four cents a litre-Down!
- Diesel numbers show 4.7 cents a litre down, and...
- Gasoline shows 2.1 cents a litre down.
I'll be back around to post the final numbers again sometime Tuesday evening, hopefully in time for all to make their purchasing decisions based on what I have. Either way, the distillate prices are taking a pounding in the consumers favour.
Not bad to see them drop over the course of the winter!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Distillate demand drops, gasoline increases
Conception Bay South, NL, February 10, 2009- Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador will, once again, experience a drop in distillate prices while gasoline is projected to see a small increase at the pumps this coming Thursday, that’s according to George Murphy, group researcher with the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.
Heating, stove oils and diesel to drop
“All the numbers are in and, by all appearances, those fuels connected with the distillate group, namely diesel, heating and stove oils, all will experience drops in pricing. Diesel fuel is projected to drop by 3.0 cents per litre while stove oils are projected to fall close to the same amount, 2.95 cents a litre. The stove oil number may be the harbinger of things to come with heating oils as well as jet fuel demand is also being impacted on the world markets so, that number for heating oils may in fact be slightly more than what we have for stove oils”, said Murphy.
Gasoline prices up slightly
“In the meantime, gasoline is expected to increase slightly by 3.3 cents per litre. Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen the oil industry talking about the possibility of a refiner strike that could affect upwards of 30 thousand workers directly. We’ve also seen a slight drop in the builds of inventories in recent weeks. Even though the number shows very modest increases in inventory, the fact is that refiners are concentrating more on distillate output rather than gasoline and that has helped to support prices. Refined product supplied to the markets is down almost three per cent from last years numbers. Gasoline demand is a bare ½ a percentage point below last year for the same time frame as a result. Even though gasoline production rose slightly against the week previous, refiner capacity is still well below peak production rates, measuring just over 83 per cent.
Crude message in oil
“Crude oil supplies have increased in recent weeks, just one reason why we’ve seen the price of raw crude drop. There’s plenty of it out there and it seems that OPEC cuts have not impacted supply greatly. From the look of things, I believe that the economy is being hit harder than we think. This may be true evidence of the smack we are about to take economically and real troublesome signs of how deep the recession is going to be. We are now into the March contracts for delivery and we haven’t seen the affects of OPEC cuts as of yet. The question is, will we?
Residual fuels and Marine Atlantic
Residual fuel oil, a type of fuel used for marine applications, prices have reached March of 2005 levels and have been experiencing some form of steady pricing in the markets. This should be enough time now for Marine Atlantic to announce its next moves on the remaining nine per cent fuel surcharge that was put on for crossings made by the shipping line. These fuel surcharges were placed in 2008 and previously in 2007 when the fuel price was high and not at 2005 levels. It’s now time for Marine Atlantic to deal with the remainder of the fuel surcharges on crossings of the Gulf. It is also time for the federal government to step in and absorb any future increases in fuel costs that add an artificial inflation rate to goods coming into Newfoundland and Labrador. The people of the province were told through the media by Marine Atlantic officials that the remainder of the fuel surcharge would be dealt with in January. They’re late with it.
For more information, contact;
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices
- Heating and stove oils to drop by 2.76 cents a litre. Remember that the heating number may be off because of the use of jet fuel as an antifreeze agent, a number for which we just can't get a hold of. Either way, down is the word here as there has been a drop in distillates over the last few weeks.
- Diesel fuel to drop by 2.8 cents a litre. With all the economic damage out there, there's a little less tendency to use those tractor trailers to ship goods and demand here has been impacted as a result.
- Gasoline shows an increase of 3.3 cents a litre. More on this one tomorrow night, but it doesn't look good in the face of refineries matching decreasing production with falling demand. I'm thinking that they're trying to strike a balance between the two factors and they're hoping for a drop in inventories as a result of the moves. That's part reason why gasoline is still being 'supported". That may change soon, if the economy has any say in the matter...
I'll be by with my final numbers tomorrow night, sometime after 8:00 P.M!
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
No interruption this week!
Numbers confirm that there will be NO fuel price interruption this week unless there's an unknown factor out there like the jet fuel number. Even then, distillate numbers are pointing down, so if they are to drop, then it will be with heating fuels which has a 25% #2 fuel and 75% jet fuel mix.
I keep looking for a jet fuel number to use so I can figure out the winter mix but, alas! To no avail!
Numbers so far this period show:
*Heating/stove oils down by 2.0 cents a litre.
*Gasoline up by 2.6 cents a litre, and
*Diesel down by 1.9 cents a litre.
We have another week of market activity before these numbers are finalised so, let this be just a small pic of what is happening out there. These are not the final numbers yet!
Consumer Group for Fair Gas prices
Monday, February 02, 2009
...and how about something constructive for a change?
Conception Bay South, NL, February 02, 2009- The Atlantic Institute for Market Studies has released a report on what regulated markets are costing consumers in Atlantic Canada and George Murphy of the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices is hearing things in the report that he has heard before. He’s just waiting on the AIMS Group to come out with something constructive.
“The AIMS group came out with a report this morning that says regulation has cost the taxpayer in Newfoundland and Labrador several million dollars. If they had done their research, the AIMS group would have found that regulation costs the consumer of the province less than a half million bucks a year and amounts to .0007 cents a litre at the pumps and not the estimated 1.5 cents that the group used to construct its report”, said the researcher for the group.
“It also uses the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CPPI) as one of its sources of its report. The CPPI is a representative group of the oil companies so, I have to question the use of such information that AIMS has used. It’s not the first time they’ve spouted off on the costs of regulation but, we have yet to hear the constructive arguments from them on what to do to get some free competition going in the province- the chief reason why we have regulation in the first place. They also don’t advocate the dropping of some of the taxation component on gasoline that helps elevate the price at the pumps.
“It is important to remember that regulation in Newfoundland and Labrador regulates the maximum price that any product can be sold for. There is nothing to stop any company from selling their product for less than that and that’s where the consumer loses. Besides the immediate CBS area, the companies have always failed to sell gasoline below the regulated minimum set by the PUB. Why? Can the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies tell us that or are they tainted by the influences of the same people they are getting their information from? Are they saying that Big Oil should be the final arbiter in the setting of pricing?
“Can the AIMS group give us something we can use? Who is paying the tab on this latest ‘scoop’? Toronto prices are low because of a free market system called competition that still exists in the area. Small mom and pop operations still drop gasoline prices because there is a margin to do so of some fourteen cents a litre and big mainstream companies are forced to compete with them. The age of the small mom and pop operation in Newfoundland and Labrador died a long time ago and competition is dying in a lot of other areas of the country where mom and pop operations are being forced from the markets. That’s one reason why the province was forced to enact legislation back in 2001 to regulate the market. If the AIMS group had done its research, it would have had several explainers as to why we ended up with regulation in the first place. This release of theirs is flawed and also misinforms the public.”
“I would encourage the AIMS group to look at several issues pertaining to petroleum pricing itself.
*How does a market, where competition has been destroyed, restore it?
*Address taxation issues.
*Use different and argumentative sources. We had no call from the AIMS group so, we don’t know who was called otherwise, and we would have given them good arguments why regulation is in place.
*Why doesn’t the AIMS group study the effects of “reciprocal sales arrangements’ on markets where there is basically one or two sources of supply?
*Why does the AIMS group not lobby for changes to the Competition Act?
For more information, contact;
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Pricesgasprices@hotmail.com